No depot yet, delay in work; Alstom refuses to make rakes for Metro line 4
In a major jolt to the Maharashtra State government, the shortlisted bidder has declined to manufacture rakes for the proposed Line 4 which will connect the island city to Thane via the eastern suburbs.
Failure on the part of MVA led the state government to finalize the car depot for another crucial Metro corridor and the delay in the work are the reasons why ‘Bombardier Transportation’ has refused to work with them any further.
The survey for the Line 4 car depot land in Mogharpada began in January though the location was finalized almost three years ago.
Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), is the state agency responsible for the implementation of metro projects. It had awarded the contract to supply 234 coaches or 39 trains for the Metro-4 (Wadala-Thane-Kasarwadavali) and Metro-4A (Kasarwadavali-Gaimukh) to Bombardier Transportation in March 2021, after it emerged as the lowest bidder with a bid of Rs.1,198 crore.
The delays in handing over land for a car depot and other issues with the project prompted Alstom to pull out of the job.
An MMRDA official said, “The depot is the most crucial element of the project as the rakes are stabled here after operating hours of services. The depot is the place where regular and intensive maintenance of rakes is also undertaken.”
SVR Srinivas, Metropolitan Commissioner MMRDA, said, “Bombardier has withdrawn because the project has been going on slowly; only 5-10% of the work has been completed so far. Depot land was yet to be made available. We were telling them we are working on it but they decided to cancel it.”
“We will now have to re-bid this contract. We will take some time to call new bids, the work is moving slowly so we can do it after 3-4 months. We are trying to speed up the project,” Srinivas said.
He said that MMRDA is looking at alternative options for the depot and may move it to the Mogharpada area in Thane.
French engineering major Alstom, which has acquired Bombardier Transportation, responded on the issue. Alstom said, “Following signing of Letter of Acceptance (LoA) for Rolling Stock of Mumbai Line 4 in March 2021, there have been overall challenges in progressing with project execution due to delays on various fronts, including civil work. Alstom engaged with relevant stakeholders to find a possible resolution. After exhausting all avenues, the decision has been taken not to proceed with this contract.”
The 32.4km Metro line will connect central Mumbai in Wadala to Thane and will travel along with Ghatkopar and LBS Marg before hitting Ghodbunder Road till Kasarvadavli. The MMRDA has also planned a 2.7 km corridor till Gaimukh in Thane.
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